Radiation Protection Principles

In simple terms, radiation is energy that comes from a source and travels from one place to another. Radiation that is categorized as ionizing radiation has the energy to break chemical bonds and is considered a higher frequency radiation. This type of radiation includes cosmic rays, Alpha particles, Beta particles, Gamma rays and x-rays. Ionizing radiation is commonly used in medical x-rays. Non-ionizing radiation is considered a low frequency radiation, as in microwave radiation, infrared radiation and radio wave broadcasting.

It’s very important to understand how to protect your medical staff when working around high frequency radiation and ways to reduce the level of radiation exposure. ALARA, an acronym for as-low-as-reasonably-achievable, is a radiation safety principle. According to ALARA principles, there are three important concepts associated with radiation protection.

1. Time
Time simply refers to the amount of time someone is exposed to radiation. By minimize the time of radiation exposure as much as possible you are using best practices. The shorter the time spent working around radiation, the less exposure you will receive. It’s important for all medical professionals to keep track of the time spent working around radiation. Many facilities require their medical staff to use dosimeters for tracking time. Radiation dosimetry is the measurement of a radiation dose from the exposure of ionizing radiation.

2. Distance
The farther away from the radiation source, the less radiation exposure. Distance is the space between you and the radiation source. Many compare the concept of distance to a light bulb. A light bulb evenly distributes light in every direction. As you move away from the light bulb, the light from the light bulb becomes less powerful. The more distance you put in between you and the radiation source, the less exposure.

3. Shielding
Shielding refers to the products that absorb the radiation between you and the source. Shielding can come in the form of protective apparel such as lead aprons, thyroid collars, lead glasses, lead gloves, etc. Other radiation protection products to consider are lead shields, scatter drapes and lead barriers for your medical setting. Radiation will interact with the shield rather than the medical personnel or patient behind it.

These safety concepts are essential for proper radiation protection. By reducing the time spent around radiation, increasing the distance from the source and using appropriate shielding, you are applying best practices for radiation protection. If you have any questions or comments, please share your thoughts in the comment box below! To learn more about selecting the proper x-ray apron for your needs, download our free white paper to help guide you through the process.




  1. reza dadsetan says:

    I need x ray lead barrier with 72inch and 24inch window

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